GET CRACKING: Stone Crab Weekend
The annual Stone Crab Weekend Block Party at Frenchy's Cafe on Clearwater Beach always marks the opening weekend of stone crab season with two days of live music, food and drink specials and a raffle. In 1984, Michael "Frenchy" Preston started the block party at the cafe at 41 Baymont St. There are now several Frenchy's restaurants, but the block party will be set up under a big tent on Baymont Street from noon to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. You can find the music lineup in Clearwater Beach at stonecrabweekend.com. There will be a large free parking lot on E Shore Drive within walking distance of the block party.
NERDS RULE: MarineQuest and Science Festival
Round up the kids to see science experiments and discovery up close at MarineQuest, the annual family-friendly open house at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute. At the same time, the University of South Florida St. Petersburg will also have hands-on science, technology, engineering, art and math on display for the St. Petersburg Science Festival. Best of all, it's all free. Kids will be able to touch sharks and rays, spiny lobsters and other marine critters. They can also tour actual science labs, create marine-related crafts and play with robots. It runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Fish and Wildlife Institute, 100 Eighth Ave. SE, and also on the adjacent USF campus, 140 Seventh Ave. S, St. Petersburg. There will be a free shuttle service from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. from the South Core parking garage at 101 First Ave. S and at the USF garage on the south side of Sixth Avenue S at Second Street.
SMOKE ON THE WATER: Tampa Pig Jig
Now in its sixth year, the Tampa Pig Jig at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park expects to have its biggest year yet, with headliner O.A.R. (Shattered, This Town) and 50 teams competing in a barbecue competition. More than 6,000 are expected to an event that sold out last year. They call it 'cue for a cause because proceeds benefit NephCure Kidney International. $30 advance, $40 day of at tampapigjig.com; 12 and younger free. It runs from 1 to 10 p.m. Saturday at 600 N Ashley Drive, Tampa.
FIGHT SONG: Tampa Bay Rowdies
You can catch a free concert from pop singer Rachel Platten after the Tampa Bay Rowdies play on Saturday. Maybe the team has found its new Fight Song. The concert will start about 10 p.m. after the Rowdies' 7:30 p.m. game against the Ottawa Fury and is included with tickets ($25 via Ticketmaster).